Damping Grease

Designers and manufacturers have used damping greases for more than 50 years as an economical way to build fine tolerances into their products. The “velvet feel” and virtually silent operation of the focusing mechanisms on microscopes, zoom lenses on 35mm cameras, and other optical instruments, and the fact that the lens doesn’t continue to “coast” when the mechanism is stopped, are all the results of a damping grease applied to the focusing threads. Damping greases are also widely used for electronic controls such as potentiometers, where they ensure smooth, quiet, controlled motion, and make possible very precise settings, very cost-effectively, that could not otherwise be made my hand. They are also found in gear trains and gear motors, appliance controls, electric switch mechanisms, laser controls, television tuners, and in many automotive, hand-actuated or instrument panel control applications, where “quality feel” usually indicates the presence of a damping grease.

When selecting a damping grease – objective and subjective criteria apply. Objectively, damping greases must retain their damping qualities throughout the temperature range of the application, so careful attention should be paid to the temperature range of each grease. More subjectively, damping greases are selected for the “feel” the designer wants to achieve. Generally, the more delicate the device, the lighter the grease. Damping greases come in standard grades, from extra light to very heavy, and Nye can formulate them to meet any gradation in between. Importantly, when determining a grade and how much grease to apply to a device, carefully consider the amount of torque available at the lowest operating temperature, when the grease is most viscous.

What’s the difference between the 774 vs the 868 range of damping greases below…

Both the Nyogel 774 and Fluorocarbon Gel 868 products use a Polyalphaolefin base oil. The 774 series is thickened by silica and exhibits low colour, high clarity and medium tack. The 774 grease generally better at resisting displacement from plastic and metal surfaces when compared to the 868 range. The 868 range is composed of white coloured products formulated with rust inhibitors and PTFE particles, which on some surfaces will improve lubricity.

Nyogel 774 series

Grease NameTemp Range (°C)ChemistryGradeDescription And Typical Application Examples
NYOGEL 774VL-50 to 120PAO SilicaUltra Light774VL is an ultra light grade of grease that is tan in colour but appears translucent in thin layers. 774VL is a NLGI grade 2 grease. Used in the automotive industry on glove box latch applications. Nyogel 774VL is available on this website in a 10gram tube and 100gram tube.
NYOGEL 774L-40 to 120PAO SilicaVery Light774L is a light viscosity NLGI grade 2 grease that is tan in colour but will be translucent when applied in thin layers. 774L is used on automotive HVAC controls and seat track systems and has a Ford the ford spec number WSS-M1C254-A. Nyogel 774L is available on this website in a 10gram tube and 100gram tube.
NYOGEL 774-30 to 120PAO SilicaLight774 is a medium viscosity, NLGI grade 2 synthetic grease that is tan in colour in bulk but will appear translucent when applied in thin layers. 774 is applied to automotive power window switches and has the Daimler Chrysler spec number MS-10232V.
NYOGEL 774H-20 to 120PAO SilicaMedium774H is blue in colour but when applied in small amount is almost translucent. The grease has a NLGI grade of 2 and is has been used on such applications as steering column and pen screw mechanisms.
NYOGEL 774VH-10 to 120PAO SilicaHeavy774VH is tan coloured in bulk but will be translucent in thin layers. 774VH is a NLGI grade 3 grease and is very popular with motorbike enthusiasts, it is applied to drive by wire twist throttles to dampen the sensitivity of the system and the grease is also commonly used on camera focusing mechanisms.

Note: PAO = Polyalphaolefin

Fluorocarbon Gel 868 series

Grease NameTemp Range (°C)ChemistryGradeDescription And Typical Application Examples
FLUOROCARBON GEL 868VL-45 to 125PAO & PTFEUltra Light868VL is a light viscosity NLGI grade 2 grease that is white in colour. The grease has a rust inhibitor additive included to prevent rust and so is ideal for damping applications where metallic components are involved. 868VL is used on document and photo printer return keys.
FLUOROCARBON GEL 868L-40 to 125PAO & PTFEVery Light868L is a light viscosity NLGI grade 2 grease that is white in colour. Intended for automotive and industrial controls, the grease has a rust inhibitor additive included to prevent rust and so is ideal for damping applications where metallic components are involved. 868L is used on dimmer switches & vehicle starter motor solenoids.
FLUOROCARBON GEL 868-40 to 125PAO & PTFELight868 is a medium viscosity NLGI grade 2 grease that is white in colour. The grease has a rust inhibitor additive included to prevent rust and so is ideal for damping applications where metallic components are involved. 868 is used on manual car seat controls and also fridge temperature controls.
FLUOROCARBON GEL 868H-30 to 125PAO & PTFEMedium868H is a heavy viscosity NLGI grade 2 grease that is white in colour. The grease has a rust inhibitor additive included to prevent rust and so is ideal for damping applications where metallic components are involved. 868H is used on stereo volume controls and surveying equipment.
FLUOROCARBON GEL 868VH-20 to 125PAO & PTFEHeavy868VH is a heavy viscosity grease that is white in colour. The grease has a rust inhibitor additive included to prevent rust and so is ideal for damping applications where metallic components are involved. 868VH is used on zoom focusing, medical devices, various automotive applications and has the Daimler Chrysler spec number MS-10359 and the GM spec number 9986205.

Note: PAO = Polyalphaolefin | PTFE = Polytetrafluoroethylene

Heavy Duty Damping Grease

Grease NameTemp Range (°C)ChemistryGradeDescription And Typical Application Examples
PG-44LS+10 to 120Polybutene & SilicaVery Heavy PG-44LS is an extremely stiff, heavy viscosity grease that has a rust inhibitor additive included. This NLGI 5 product has similar applications as PG-44A (below). This 'LS' of the PG range is a less viscous version of PG-44A and has been found by customers to be a suitable replacement for Rocol 0868 Kilopoise grease.
PG-44A+20 to 120Polybutene & SilicaExtremely HeavyPG-44A is an extremely stiff, heavy viscosity grease that has a rust inhibitor additive included. Suitable for extreme damping applications, the PG-44A is a NLGI 5 grease and is so stiff grease that generally the product is not sold in tubes due to the force required to dispense the grease. PG-44A can be heated to aid dispensing for volume applications. This grease is commonly used on binocular focusing heads/systems and has proved popular with self build light aircraft enthusiasts to combat nose wheel shimmy issues on landing; also used as an assembly aid where this kind of viscosity product is suitable.

Please note that the products in the tables above are the core damping grease products offered by Nye. Many more are available including older formulations that are still available and are sold on this website such as Nyogel 767A and Nyogel 795A. Please contact us if you cannot find the product you are looking for.

Should you choose one of the 774 or the 868 damping greases? Both ranges perform similar functions but utilise different chemistry to achieve their damping goal.

The 868 range is thickened with PTFE which is normally white in colour, hence the 868 range is white in appearance. The 774 range is either a tan or blue colour but will appear translucent in thin layers and is less visable on dark surfaces, if visability is an issue. The 868 products have a better shear stability and our experience is that they are better suited to metal on metal applications or applications where the grease will experience prolonged periods of use. 774 greases can be better suited to plastic applications and have a lower price point.

Material compatibility problems with the damping greases is not common but we recommend that you consult the Nye compatibility chart that is within the Engineering Reference Chart. If still concerned consider a compatibility test – see the relevant question on the FAQ page for further information.

Some support videos that you may find of interest:

The products mentioned above are the more popular from the damping grease range. If you do not find a product that fits your needs then please contact us as we have many more formulations on file for a variety of application types.